Description from Flora of China
Corydalis alpigena C. Y. Wu & H. Chuang; C. calcicola W. W. Smith var. szechuanica Fedde; C. deflexicalcarata C. Y. Wu & H. Chuang; C. leucostachya C. Y. Wu & H. Chuang; C. octocornuta C. Y. Wu; C. trachycarpa var. leucostachya (C. Y. Wu & H. Chuang) C. Y. Wu; C. trachycarpa var. nana C. Y. Wu & H. Chuang; C. trachycarpa var. octocornuta (C. Y. Wu) C. Y. Wu.
Herbs, erect, 7-20 cm above scree surface, stout, glabrous or papillose-scabrid along margins and veins of bracts; stems and petioles of radical leaves attenuate to filiform underground base. Storage roots numerous, fascicled, oblong, 30-70 × 2-4 mm. Stems few to several, sulcate, robust, usually branched, with 2-4(-6) leaves. Radical leaves few; blade ovate, 2.5-8 × 1.5-6 cm, (bi-)tripinnate; pinnae 4-6 pairs, petiolule 3-10 mm; ultimate leaflets sessile, ± deeply pinnatifid; lobes ovate to obovate, 2-9 mm, mucronate. Cauline leaves: lower petiolate, upper ones nearly sessile, narrowly ovate to oblong, 3-9 × 2-4 cm, like radical leaves. Racemes 3-8 cm, very dense, 15-30-flowered; lower bracts 7-12 mm, from a broad flat base repeatedly palmatisect into linear to lanceolate lobes; upper bracts less divided, 4-9 mm. Pedicel 3-6 mm, rigidly arcuately recurved in fruit. Sepals 0.5-1.5 × 0.5-2 mm, dentate. Petals white (to cream), turning purplish after fertilization, rarely purple; inner petals usually with contrasting blackish purple apex; upper petal 24-29 mm, petal lobes navicular-ovate, apex obtuse, dorsal crest 1-2 mm wide, very variable, acute or obtuse and overtopping apex; spur usually gracefully downcurved, tapering to an acute apex; nectary 6-10 mm; lower petal broadly and shallowly saccate in basal 1/2, 10-12 mm; inner petals 9-10 mm. Stigma square; marginal papillae: median 2 distinct, lateral broad, indistinct; geminate papillae lateral (submarginal) and on well-developed basal lobes. Capsule elliptic to broadly obovoid, 7-10 × ca. 3 mm, with raised lines of dense papillae, 3-8-seeded; style ca. 4 mm. Seeds ca. ?1.5 mm, smooth. Fl. and fr. Apr-Sep.
A hybrid (sterile) with Corydalis densispica has been recorded (W of Litang).
● Alpine scree, very rarely in shrubs; 3500-5200 m. Gansu, E and SE Qinghai, NW and W Sichuan, NE Xizang.